Objective: The present study explored the relation between professional self-efficacy and the attitudes of dentists toward discussing Internet dental health information with their patients. Methods: Fifty-seven dentists answered a questionnaire examining professional self-efficacy and attitudes toward patients wishing to discuss dental health information obtained through the Internet. Results: A correlation was found between professional experience (in years) and professional self-efficacy [r point by serial (rpb) = 0.27, P < 0.05]. No statistically significant correlation was found between specialty and professional self-efficacy (rpb = 0.11, P < 0.4), and between professional self-efficacy and attitudes toward patients who wish to discuss dental health information (rpb = 0.22, P > 0.1). Specialists were more willing to converse with their patients than nonspecialists. Most participants did not find discussing information from the Internet to be time-consuming. Conclusions: This pilot study's results indicate that a) Specialists in dentistry were more willing to discuss Internet dental health information with their patients than nonspecialists; b) Dentists with high professional self-efficacy had a positive attitude toward patients who wish to discuss Internet dental health information with them; and c) Further studies are needed to investigate and validate the results of the present study. Practice Implications: High professional self-efficacy may improve general dentists' attitudes toward patients who wish to discuss Internet dental health information. The dental community should seek to expand the professional self-efficacy of its members in order to enable them to adequately deal with patients' needs.
- health information
- physician- patient relations